The decision, which one source with knowledge said was made by Trump himself, comes after the President in January authorized the reorganization of the National Security Council to include Bannon as a permanent member of the panel.
The move is a demotion for Bannon and a win for H.R. McMaster, who Trump picked in February to lead the council after Michael Flynn was fired for misleading Vice Presiden Mike Pence about undisclosed contacts he had with Russian operatives.
The decision to remove Bannon from the council is the first public diminishing of his power inside the West Wing, two senior Republicans close to the White House noted.
The argument that Bannon was on the council to watch Flynn ignores that fact that the former campaign adviser was Trump’s top pick for national security adviser and someone the President has defended even after he asked for his resignation in February.
Bannon, the source said, will still be allowed to “Attend any meeting” w his expertise is needed, a more traditional structure for the National Security Council.
Other sources argued that Bannon was elevated to the council in order to keep tabs on Flynn.
Another said Bannon was only on board to oversee Flynn’s work to “De-operationalize” the National Security Council from the broad purview it had under Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.
The decision to elevate Bannon in the first place was a controversial one because, at the same time, the order indicated that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would not be regular attendees.
Regular members of the Principals Committee will include the secretary of state, the treasury secretary, the defense secretary, the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, the assistant to the President and chief of staff, the assistant to the President and chief strategist, the national security adviser and the Homeland Security adviser.